Lifetime is ready to premiere five new movie adaptations based on the works of NY Times best-selling true-crime author Ann Rule. The movies will be part of the network’s Ripped from the Headlines slate, which is scheduled to begin this summer, and 80% of the slate has a female director attached.
This isn’t the first time that Ann Rule and Lifetime have teamed up on a project, the network also made “Too Late to Say Goodbye” with Rob Lowe, “Hunt for the I-5 Killer” with John Corbett, “Everything She Ever Wanted” with Gina Gershon, and “Capture of the Green River Killer” with Tom Cavanagh.
The summer slate include “Danger In The Dorm,” “Mortal Danger,” “Practice to Deceive,” “Bitter Harvest,” and “Empty Promises,” in which the movie version would be entitled “A Murder to Remember.” The network stated that casting is currently underway on the movies. If you like to read the original work before seeing the adaptation, you can find a collection of Ann Rule’s work right here on Amazon.
A diverse crew of women will bring the adaptations to the small screen, including writers and directors. Lifetime stated that three of the five directors are women of color, accounting for 60% of the total, and three of the five films are written by women, also accounting for 60%.
Ashley Williams, who recently starred in “Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer” from Lifetime’s Winter Ripped from the Headlines slate, will also make her film directorial debut with “Practice to Deceive.” As part of Lifetime’s Broader Focus initiative which supports the hiring of women in key production roles, Williams shadowed director Michael Nankin while making the Chris Watts film to prep her to direct this new project. Robin Givens will also make her directorial debut with “A Murder to Remember,” based on the novel, “Empty Promises.” The additional directors include Karen Lam for “Danger in the Dorm,” Shamim Sarif for “Bitter Harvest,” and David Weaver for “Mortal Danger.”
The writing team includes Ramona Barckert, Christina Ray, Amber Benson, Richard Blaney and Gregory Small, Conor Allyn and Benjamin Anderson.
You can find the official descriptions for the five Ann Rule movies below, as detailed by Lifetime.
Danger In The Dorm
When honor student Becky Swafford is murdered in her dorm room, a quiet college campus becomes terrorized by the threat of a serial killer. Detectives work relentlessly to catch her killer, but they are stumped when more victims come forward and no discernible pattern is detected. Despite the odds, Becky’s best friend Kathleen and her grieving mother Grace refuse to give up on solving her murder, even when it means risking their own lives. Danger In The Dorm is one of Rule’s earliest true crime stories, published over four decades ago. The film is produced by Danger Films, Inc. and Christian Bruyere and executive produced by Howard Braunstein, Ilene Kahn Power, Conor Allyn and Benjamin Anderson. Ramona Barckert serves as writer and Karen Lam will direct.
Paul Carter was like a knight in shining armor when he met flight attendant Grace Tanner and swept her into a passionate love affair. But her dream man quickly became her nightmare as his jealous rage ultimately led to a brutal attack. Incredibly, Grace was able to escape and go into hiding. Fearing for her future, Grace works with the police to bring Paul to justice. Produced by Lighthouse Pictures, Mortal Danger is executive produced by Conor Allyn, Benjamin Anderson, Jamie Goehring, Shawn Williamson, Manu Boyer and Kim Raver. Richard Blaney and Gregory Small serve as writers and will be directed by David Weaver.
A Murder to Remember
Inspired by Ann Rule’s true crime collection Empty Promises, A Murder to Remember follows Javier and Robin Rivera as they celebrate their one-year anniversary on a camping trip. But when it goes terribly awry and Javier ends up dead, Robin finds herself alone in the rough wilderness. She accepts help from another camper, a mysterious stranger named Sam, and slowly places her life is in his hands. But is Sam there to protect Robin? Or does she need protecting from him? A Murder to Remember is produced by Big Dreams Entertainment. Conor Allyn, Benjamin Anderson and Leslie Greif serve as executive producers, and Amber Benson wrote the script. Actress Robin Givens will make her directorial debut with this movie.
Practice to Deceive
A small island community is turned upside down when local business man Russel Douglas is found dead the day after Christmas. Through an investigation that twists and winds its way through neighbors, a wife, and best friends, Russel’s murderer is finally revealed. The film is produced by Lighthouse Pictures. Conor Allyn, Benjamin Anderson, Jamie Goehring, Shawn Williamson and Barbara Lieberman serve as executive producers. Practice to Deceive will mark Ashley Williams’ television movie directorial debut from a script written by Christina Ray.
Bitter Harvest follows brilliant doctor and mother Debora Green who had the epitome of a picture perfect life with three children, adoring husband and beautiful house in an opulent neighborhood. But behind the curtain is a rocky marriage that takes a terrible turn and leaves her family and marriage in ruin. Bitter Harvest is produced by Bitter Harvest Films Inc. and Juliette Hagopian. Howard Braunstein, Conor Allyn, Benjamin Anderson, and Sheri Singer serve as executive producers. Also, Allyn and Anderson wrote the script that Shamim Sarif will direct.
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